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US Deputy Secretary of State Visits TLC Clinic Site

The Luke Commission is used to having guests visit the rural sites of The Luke Commission’s mobile hospital.

Recently, Deputy Secretary of State from Washington DC checked in on The Luke Commission.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Reuben Brigety (left) talks with The Luke Commission co-Executive Director Echo VanderWal and US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Craig Cloud at a TLC mobile hospital outreach high in Swaziland’s northern mountains. 

In a speech US Ambassador to Swaziland, Makila James, said: “We had a senior visitor from Washington – my boss Deputy Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Reuben Brigety – and we wanted to show him how successful the US government’s partnerships on HIV/AIDs work is in Swaziland.” 

When distinguished US guest Reuben Brigety came to Swaziland recently, US Ambassador Makila James suggested he visit a TLC site where comprehensive medical care is tackling the really big Swazi problems – HIV and TB with prevention, education, and treatment.

Continued the US ambassador, “We arranged with the VanderWals for him to visit The Luke Commission working in Dvokolwako. He was as impressed with The Luke Commission staff and unique model, as I was, and is taking the message of our successful collaboration through PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) back to Washington.”

Deputy Secretary of State Brigety traveled far up into the northern mountains to view TLC’s comprehensive health care system of helping Swazis with a variety of health needs and zeroing in, quietly and compassionately, on the number one problems – HIV and TB.

Reuben Brigety, US Deputy Secretary of State, dons surgical garb to watch staff circumcise Swazi men and boys in TLC’s mobile surgical unit.  HIV transmission is reduced 60% in males who are circumcised.

That day TLC treated 841 patients and performed 47 adult male circumcisions in the mobile surgical unit.

“He asked informed questions and offered thoughtful observations about HIV throughout Africa. We were humbled and blessed by his presence.” said Echo VanderWal, who with her husband Dr. Harry developed the model now being developed and systemized for replication in other African countries.

“He asked great and informed questions,” Echo VanderWal said of US Deputy Asst. Secretary of State Reuben Brigety, (center next to Dr. Harry VanderWal).  Pictured with Brigety and The Luke Commission’s executive directors are (left to right) Emma Llewellyn, Dr. Peter Preko, Dr. Munamato Mirira, and Craig Cloud (US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission).

Deputy Secretary of State Brigety noted “how proud” he and America are “of TLC’s effort in Swaziland.”

Brigety was accompanied by a delegation from the US Embassy in Swaziland. He watched firsthand as circumcisions were performed in the mobile surgical unit. He toured all other TLC departments as well.


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